|In this issue:
- VDGIF Basic Law Enforcement Academy
Graduates 3rd Class
- 2007-08 Hunting & Trapping
Regulations Digest Now Available
- How Are The Fish Bitin'?
- People and Partners in the News
- Vernie Kennedy Honored with Morgan
Award for Hunter Education Service
- "The Woods in Your Backyard"
Workshops Coming in July
- Teens Learn Outdoor Skills Through
Xtreme JAKES Event
- Women in the Outdoors Event Coming
- Be Safe... Have Fun!
- Planning and Preparation for
- In Case You Missed It...
- Big Apple Archery Tournament
June 29 - July 1 at Buggs Island
- Applications Due June 30 for
Virginia Naturally School Recognition
- Women in the Outdoors Event
July 14 in Hampton
- Virginia Wildlife Action Plan
Featured on Communicating Today
- Shenandoah, Cowpasture, and
James Rivers - Fish Kills Update
- Virginia Migratory Waterfowl
Conservation Stamp Grant Application Period Open
- Fishin' Report
VDGIF Basic Law
Enforcement Academy Graduates 3rd Class
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF)
Basic Law Enforcement Academy graduated its third
class of seven officers on June 22, 2007. Additionally, five
previously sworn officers were recognized for
completing the VDGIF Academy Modified Training
Program. The 3rd Basic Class will take up their
assignments across the Commonwealth and proceed with
12 additional weeks of field training under the
direct supervision of a division field training
officer. The new officers completed an intensive
30-week training program that included more than 200
Effective July 1,
2007, VDGIF sworn personnel will no longer be called
"game wardens" but "conservation police officers."
Governor Tim Kaine signed the bill into law this
past spring following the 2007 Session of the
General Assembly. Virginia conservation police
officers have full police authority, however their
efforts focus on enforcing the Commonwealth's
wildlife and boating laws. The name change is
intended to make the full scope of the officers'
authority clear to people they encounter during
their daily patrols of Virginia's fields, forests
and waters. Typically, one officer is assigned to
work a county or city, but in some cases there may
be more than one assigned to a jurisdiction
depending on the needs of that community.
information with a list of graduates and the
locality where they will be assigned,
see the news
2007-08 Hunting & Trapping
Regulations Digest Now Available
distributing the new 2007-2008 Hunting and
Trapping in Virginia - Regulations and Information
digest. In addition to laws and regulations,
included again this year is the Hunting and
Trapping Annual. This expanded supplement to
the hunting digest includes information about VDGIF
programs, wildlife management and research projects,
harvest data, and related facts about Virginia's
wildlife. Featured topics include detailed
information on deer, bear, turkey, small game and
furbearer management programs. For landowners,
information is included on liability, posting
recommendations and habitat management incentive
programs. There are a few new
regulations this year that are mostly license
related. The 80-page booklet is available free of
charge from license sales agents, Regional VDGIF
offices and the Richmond Headquarters office. A PDF
format will be available on the VDGIF Web site July
1. To offset printing costs, paid advertisements
have been added to the digest this year.
among the most liberal seasons and bag limits in the
country for white-tailed deer. Virginia has had a
long-standing tradition of both fall and spring
turkey hunting. The abundance of small game species,
such as squirrel and rabbit, also offers the
opportunity for young hunters to participate in the
tradition of sport hunting just as their parents and
grandparents once did.
How Are the Fish Bitin'?
Anglers across the state can
get answers on fishing conditions for many of their favorite
rivers and lakes by reading the Fishin' Report, included
in this and future issues of the Outdoor Report. License
agents, marinas, fishing guides and bait shops have volunteered
to serve as contacts for information on recent fishing
conditions for primary rivers and lakes throughout the state.
Sarah White, outdoor writer and regular contributor to
Virginia Wildlife magazine, prepares the Fishin' Report
from interviews with contacts the week prior to publication of
the Outdoor Report. The Fishin' Report will only
be available as part of your free subscription to the Outdoor
Got your fishing license yet?
People and Partners in the News
Honored with Morgan Award for Hunter Education
Vernie Kennedy, of
Bedford, received Virginia's highest Hunter
Education award on April 14, 2007. He was presented
the William Dixon Morgan Memorial Award, given
annually to the Hunter Education instructor deemed
to have contributed the most to Hunter Education.
Since volunteering as a Hunter Education instructor
in the 1990's, he has trained over 2,400 students
and logged in excess of 2,600 hours of volunteer
service to the VDGIF Hunter and Outdoor Education
Programs. Vernie has also assisted in
VDGIF-sponsored activities and events across the
state including women and family programs, 4-H
Shooting Sports, Boy Scout activities, National Wild
Turkey Federation JAKES events and many other youth
oriented activities. To read more about Vernie and
his accomplishments, see page 31 of the July issue of Virginia
"The Woods in
Your Backyard" Workshops Coming in July
Did you know that
by selecting certain trees for firewood, you can
improve wildlife habitat, scenic values and
regenerate young trees, all at the same time? Do you
have a few acres you'd like to turn into habitat for
wildlife? You can influence what happens in your
natural area by better understanding what you have,
what you want and available tools to help you
accomplish your goals.
The three "Woods in
Your Backyard" workshops conducted by the Virginia
Cooperative Extension are scheduled for July 24 and
31, 2007 in Warrenton; July 26 and August 2 in
Madison; and July 30 and August 6 in Fredericksburg.
A new manual/workbook and Resource CD has been
developed for these workshops. The cost of the
training is $15 for individuals or $20 per couple,
which includes a copy of the workbook and
accompanying Resource CD-ROM. Attendance is limited
and pre-registration is required.
information about the workshops and how you can
learn to better manage your natural areas or create
new ones, go to the
Virginia Cooperative Extension's Web site (PDF).
Outdoor Skills Through Xtreme JAKES Event
awesome," are some of the expressions from teens
participating in a new outdoor skills event called
Xtreme JAKES. JAKES stands for Juniors Acquiring
Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship, not to mention
a lot of fun. The Virginia Chapter of the National
Wild Turkey Federation (VANWTF) and VDGIF sponsor
this award winning program to get youth excited
about trying outdoor sports like archery, fly
fishing, kayaking, camping, hiking and nature
awareness skills. For beginning, or experienced
young sportsmen and sportswomen, the Xtreme JAKES
workshops provide opportunities to learn new skills
and try new activities to add challenge and
excitement to their outdoor adventures. You do not
have to be a VANWTF member to participate. Youth
ages 17 and younger learn basic and advanced outdoor
skills hands-on, taught by qualified volunteer
instructors. An Xtreme JAKES Event will be held in
Rockbridge County near Fairfield, July 7, 2007. For
event information contact Linda Layser at
(540) 886-1761 or email
email@example.com. Pre-registration is
required and available on the
VANWTF Web site.
Women in the
Outdoors Event Coming In July
A Women in the
Outdoors (WITO) event will be held in Augusta County
on July 21, 2007, hosted by the Augusta Area Chapter
WITO and Shenandoah Stone Quarry near Raphine. This
event provides women of all ages and skill levels a
friendly and supportive environment to learn new
activities. These events provide opportunities to
make new friends, help build tight family bonds and
create memories that will last a lifetime. The
Virginia Chapter of the National Wild Turkey
Federation (VANWTF) and VDGIF co-sponsor WITO events
statewide. For information contact Clara Johnston
(540) 377-6038 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Pre-registration is
required and available on the
VANWTF Web site.
Be Safe... Have Fun!
This edition of
Be Safe... Have Fun! was written by the Editor,
David Coffman, based on his experiences, including
mistakes, the past 30 years camping, fishing and
exploring our wonderful wild places.
Preparation Needed for Safe Summer Adventures
and snakes, oh my! If you stop to think about all
the critters and conditions that can possibly make
your summer outdoor activities miserable, you may
make a big mistake and stay home. With a little
planning, preparation and the proper gear, you can
minimize the discomforts that come with any outdoor
adventure. The old saying "an ounce of prevention is
worth a pound of cure," relates directly to you and
your outdoor plans. There are some basic safety
precautions directly related to summer heat and
critter activity that warrant your attention.
dress for the conditions you plan to encounter, then
take additional items in case conditions change.
Consider wearing pants that have the zip-off legs to
give some protection in case you encounter brush,
poison ivy (leaflets three, let it be!), or ticks. Same advice for shirts - take a
long sleeve - it may get cooler if out after sunset.
Wear light colors, they are cooler and do not
attract mosquitoes like dark shades. Carry a small
folding poncho for sudden downpours. Wear a hat to
provide shade. Use sunscreen, even if you already
have your tan.
plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration. As an
Eagle Scout, the motto "Be Prepared" has helped me
and my companions out of unforeseen circumstances on
many occasions. I offer a personal tip for long
drives. Always take a cooler with ice and a variety
of liquid refreshments in your vehicle on any trip 5
miles or 500. With heavy traffic just about anywhere
you go these days, a traffic stopping incident, or
breakdown may strand you for hours, miles away from
any refreshment. Keep a couple of bottles of water,
or sports drink and some packaged snacks in your
vehicle just in case. You may just make someone's
day, including your own. Be aware of the symptoms
of heat stroke and heat exhaustion - these conditions
can kill. Keep hydrated and do not over do it. Know
your physical limits. Rest or get in shade to
prevent heat stress.
wear insect repellant. There are many kinds on the
market, so read up on benefits and precautions of
the various kinds. Note the
proper method to remove
ticks (PDF) to prevent infection. If you happen to
encounter a snake, its best to leave it alone. Many
species of snakes, including venomous ones, are very
beneficial to humans. Snakes are not aggressive and
only bite in self defense, or if provoked. If bitten
by a venomous snake, stay calm and seek medical
attention immediately. Most venomous snake bites in
Virginia only result in some swelling and
discomfort. Bee, wasp and hornet stings pose a
greater risk, especially if you are allergic to
them. If you are allergic, keep the proper
medications with you and tell your companions in
case you need medical assistance. Rabies gets a lot
of attention in the summer. If during the daytime,
you see a fox, raccoon, or other mammal that is
normally nocturnal and elusive acting aggressively
or strangely, keep away. Contact local animal
control authorities or the police immediately with the
location of the animal.
Finally, always let
someone know where you are going and when you plan
to return. These days with cell phones, SUVs and
GPS, we have gotten somewhat complacent on this
basic safety rule. Murphy's Law is lurking out there
- no cellular signal, dead batteries, twisted an
ankle - insert your own excuse here. No wildland
adventure is without some risk - it's why we call it
"wild" and part of the appeal of venturing outdoors!
If you take simple steps to be prepared, have the
proper gear for the conditions and take basic safety
precautions, you optimize your chances for a great
wildland experience. Now go out there and have fun,
seek adventure and enjoy our great wild places.
In Case You Missed It...
With numerous new subscribers each issue, we realize
that some of the seasonal features are important and
timely enough to bear repeating. So readers can
easily review these seasonal items, we have retained
the headlines and information links in this section "In case you missed it..."
Help Spread the News!
We hope you enjoy the new,
electronic Outdoor Report and invite you to share this
information with your friends and colleagues.
Simply visit the
Department's Web site and click on the Outdoor Report
subscribe. New editions are sent directly to your email
address every two weeks. Stay informed on issues and
opportunities about Virginia's outdoors!
Virginia and neighboring states want to know "how
are the fish bitin'?" To provide some answers, more
than 25 license agents, marinas, fishing guides and
bait shops have volunteered to serve as contacts for
information on recent fishing conditions for primary
rivers and lakes throughout the state. Sarah White,
outdoor writer and regular contributor to
Virginia Wildlife magazine, prepares this
Fishin' Report from interviews with these contacts
the week prior to publication of the Outdoor
The Fishin' Report
is only available as part of your free subscription
to the Outdoor Report.
The rivers and lakes featured in the Fishin' Report
are listed by VDGIF Administrative Regions so you
can quickly locate the area in which you are most
interested. Consult the regional location map below to
find the major river or lake you want to know about.
For regulations and
conditions on saltwater fishing, visit the
Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) Web site.
Region 1 - Tidewater
Reservoir: Chuck Hyde at Beaverdam Swamp
Reservoir tells lucky anglers that bass fishing is
"excellent" and crappie also "pretty good". In fact,
Chuck tells us that all fishing has "really picked
up". James Carlton and Brandon Gentry caught and
released three bass each, with some weighing over 7
lbs. Chuck also says that morning fishing off the
banks is a good bet. Water quality is good.
The word from Mike Gizara at Lake Meade and Cohoon
Bait and Tackle is that shellcrackers are doing
well. In fact, Linwood Matthews brought in one
weighing 1 lb. 10 oz. Bass are also hitting - one
was brought in that weighed over 6 lbs. White perch
and crappie are also cooperating with local anglers.
Water quality is clear and 82 degrees.
Lake: According to Randall Kierstead, bass at
Eagle's Landing are hitting really well. He also
reports there has been no apparent harm to the
fishing conditions since a local dam broke earlier
in the month. David Knicely from Glen Allen brought
in 3 pike, 3 bowfin, and 3 bass, with the biggest
bass over 2 lbs. Kenny Drennon brought in 30 cats,
with the biggest around 4 lbs. Richard Simmons came
in with 9 bass, 8 of them over 2 lbs. So go out
and get your own whopper!
River and Back Bay: At West Neck Marina, Dewey
Mullins says that lots of bass are coming around;
some over 3 ½ lbs. Lots of small white perch are
also coming in. Dewey expects the perch, and the
stripers that follow them, to get bigger as time
goes by. Bluegill are also biting well. Dewey wants
me to remind you that there is a bass tournament
that is usually on the 2nd Sunday of each month. For
more info call (757) 426-6735.
Region 2 - Southside
Lynchburg: Local expert Doug Lane reports that
bass are hitting on poppers and crawdads. The local
cats are really going for minnows. There have been
reports of citation-level fish of several species.
The water quality is clear and warm.
Bobby Whitlow of Bobcat's Bait and Tackle tells me
that trolling for stripers in the Netbust and
Ivyhill areas is a good bet. Bass are responding to
Carolina rigs and deep crank baits. Water quality is
somewhat stained and around 70 degrees.
Fred Tannehill of Tri County Marina says that lots
of cats are cooperating with local anglers. Some
have been in the 14-18 inch range. Not many bass are
biting, but a few have come in, as have a few bream.
Water quality is clear and warm.
Reservoir: Shaw Perdue of Franklin's Outdoors
tells us that stripers are coming in big, one
weighed in at 12 lbs. The cats are doing the same,
responding best to live bait, especially alewives.
The recent hot weather has forced the crappie to go
deep. Water quality is clear and around 82 degrees.
Lake: Mike Snead at the Virginia Outdoorsman's
Store lets us know that the striper fishing is
varied with some hitting deep, some shallow. At
night the stripers are going for Rapala Vampires,
ThunderSticks and Broken-back Redfins, also Long A's.
Bass are also hitting at night on ThunderSticks and
Redfins. Both day and night bass are striking
plastic worms. Cats are also going for shad and
panfish. Water quality is clear and 80 degrees.
Region 3 - Southwest
Greg Osborne reports that stripers are hitting well
at night. Angler Rick Boyd brought in a 28 lb
striper. Other species have been slow to bite. Water
quality is clear and warm.
Lower New River:
Big Z's John Zienius tells us that night fishing is
good with black spinner bait or black and some other
dark colored bait. Fishing in general has been slow
to medium. Bass are also responding to the night
angler's crawfish crankbait. Muskies have been
coming in big. Water quality has been clear, but in
need of rain and around 80 degrees.
North Fork of
the Holston: Jamie Laime says the smallmouth
bass are responding to crankbaits and dark colored
soft plastics. Water quality is slightly stained and
Reservoir: Bill Faber of the Sportsman's Marina
let me know that the walleyes are striking night and
day. The night fishing for crappies is "good but not
great". The bass at night are responding to root
beer colored pig-n'-jigs. There have been several
walleyes and crappies that have been "keepers". The
water is low and clear, with a temperature of 80
Region 4 - Mountain &
Larry Andrews at the Bait Place reports that bass
are hitting fairly well. He wants to remind you that
there is a tournament there every Friday night.
Recently a 26-inch rainbow was brought in by Dennis Perko. The water quality is clear and 78 degrees.
Barbara Steinbrenner reports that largemouth bass
are going for artificials. The cats are not biting
well yet. The bluegills are hitting mealworms. The
water quality is clear and warm.
North Fork of
the Shenandoah: Harry Murray tells us that the
trout in the Blue River are doing well, responding
best to Mr. Rapidan's dry fly 16-18, and Murray's
Flying Beetle 16. For mountain streams it is best to
park on Skyline Drive and hike up to the stream
heads. For smallmouth bass in the Shenandoah, around
the town of Edinburgh, the best flies are the
Shenandoah Popper 4 and the Shenandoah Chartreuse
6, also the Murray's Sunfish Streamer 8 and the
Murray's Hellgrammite 6. Water quality is good with
temperatures at 58 degrees in the streams and 78 in
Region 5 - Northern
Richmond: Mike Ostrander let me know that the
flathead cats are biting where the water is low and
clear. There have also been a few smallmouth sunfish
and bluegill. Spinners and grubs are working best
for smallmouths. The water quality is fairly clear
Now go catch a
upcoming issues of the
new Outdoor Report, look for:
- Snakes in the backyard may
be a good thing!
- Opportunities for persons
with disabilities featured at August Sportsman's Show in
- Meet the Game Warden of